Friday, May 21, 2010

Woman gets rehab chance after rampage

Ely sentenced to 180 days in state ‘rider program’

Express Staff Writer

A Twin Falls woman who was charged with eight crimes from a 2008 Halloween night rampage in Hailey has been given a chance at rehabilitation.

At sentencing Tuesday, 5th District Court Judge John K. Butler sentenced 43-year-old Lori Monique Ely to 180 days incarceration under the Idaho Department of Correction "rider program." Rider sentences are usually served at the North Idaho Correctional Facility at Cottonwood, where various rehab programs are available as an alternative to sending convicted felons to prison.

If Ely fails at rehab, she could be sent to prison for up to 10 years. Butler imposed, then suspended, a 10-year prison sentence for Ely's conviction of two counts of felony battering of a police officer or jailer.

Ely pleaded guilty to those charges in March. In exchange for her guilty plea, six other charges were dismissed. Those included two other felony counts of battering an officer, a felony charge of damaging a jail and misdemeanor charges of battery, indecent exposure and malicious injury to property.

According to police reports, Ely was accused of fighting with Hailey police outside of The Mint nightclub on the evening of Oct. 31, 2008, taking off her clothes and kicking a Mint bouncer in the groin. Later at the Blaine County jail, she allegedly battered two more officers, damaged the overhead sprinkler system in her jail cell and ripped two jewelry chains from the neck of a sheriff's lieutenant.

At sentencing, Butler rejected several motions from public defender Dan Dolan to delay sentencing until Ely had received further mental evaluations. Instead, the judge said the case had dragged on far too long and Ely was intentionally trying to "manipulate the court."

Terry Smith:

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